Otaku USA Magazine
Toei’s Koichi Noguchi Chats about VR Event Virtual Anime Fes

Anime Fes

“Virtual Anime Fes,” a virtual reality event from Toei Animation’s ONN’ON STUDIOS, is set to occur on January 26 from 10:00 PM to midnight PST. There you can watch the debut of the three-person unit “Satellite,” listen to a reading from voice actors from Kado: The Right Answer, a big reveal from the production team of Expelled from Paradise, and see some secret guest appearances, among other exciting things. The venue for VRChat is Onnon_ImaginaryPark2070, and you can livestream it here. To learn more about this, Otaku USA spoke again with producer Koichi Noguchi, who was also behind Nostalgia 1999.

What can you tell us about Virtual Anime Fes?

Toei anime’s metaverse project “ONN’ON STUDIOS” has started. Based on the concept of “ONN’ON”, that is, “on and on” and providing a “playground” that continues to proliferate in the metaverse space, “ToeiDogaStudio1956” and “ToeiDogaStudio1956” will be added to the social VR “VRChat”. We have opened the “Nostalgia1999” and “ImaginaryPark2070” worlds. Nostalgia 1999 also holds a weekly Watch Party to screen anime works produced by Toei Anime (every Saturday from 15:00 to 16:00 JST)

And this time, from 15:00 (Japan time) on Saturday, January 27, we will hold the “Virtual Anime Festival” as the biggest event since the start of the project. Please take a look at the event with a lot of content, such as the announcement of new anime and games, the debut song of the limited-time unit “Satellite,” and a virtual recitation play.

How did you create Oizumi Gakuen in 1956 and Shibuya in the near future for this?

In 1956, Oizumi Gakuen was founded in 1956 by Toei Animation (later Toei Anime) and built a studio. It is also an anime studio that produced Japan’s first full-length color film, White Snake Den. Therefore, we are virtually recreating the year and place where commercial anime began in Japan. In addition, there is actually a live-action movie studio, Toei Studio, in front of Toei Video Studios, which is also reproduced.

And the Shibuya of 2070 has built a world that created what Shibuya will be like in 2070. It is said that the population will be lower than it is now. So, just like the setting of “Kaiju Decode”, this Shibuya recreates the world view of a world where monsters have come to live due to the mysterious bacteria χ10 bacteria in a world where a satellite crashed due to the impact of solar flares and Tokyo was severely damaged and could not live.

It proposes a world in which these two worlds are adjacent to each other, creating the illusion of a time warp just by moving on the ground.

Can you give us any hints about secret guest appearances?

An idol is an idol, but there are various definitions of an idol in Japan, but I believe that it is “to enjoy the process of growing up with fans, and to be attractive and talented beings who sing, dance, communicate, and play an active role in media mixes.” And this time, for a limited time, the virtual idol unit “Satellite” will make its debut.

Therefore, we were able to welcome a talented real idol as a secret guest this time, so we will welcome guests as a contrast between virtual and real, newcomers and stars. Please look forward to it. I’m also very much looking forward to it.

We interviewed you at Otaku USA about a year ago for Nostalgia 1999. What has happened since then with you and Toei?

Last time, I created an otaku room full of Sony products where you can watch Toei anime anime with “Nostalgia 1999.” Next, I became more convinced that the point of contact of entertainment would be not only inside the room but also outside the room, and that it would be a world that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere, and the concept of a virtual anime park (amusement park) was called “ImaginaryPark2070” has been opened. And this is the first event to be held here, and we would like to continue to evolve this anime park into a place where people can join and enjoy it from anywhere at any time.

Is there anything else you’d like American fans to know?

Japan has produced many science fiction works in genres such as robot anime and monster anime. This virtual anime festival will be the first anime event to be held with a collection and curation centered on science fiction works. Since the event is held in the metaverse space, we have collected works that link to that world, so please come and visit us.

And the “satellite” memory, Neiro, and frog are virtual residents of the near future that have evolved with the development of digital technology. They are a unit of virtual characters who are fascinated by human creation through old and corrupted data (anime, music, movies, etc.) and start their music activities with the aim of archiving past data. They will premiere two debut songs, “Night is ONN’ON” and “Satellite”. And in the world, there are not only the three “satellites”, but also original anime works in “ONN’ON STUDIOS”. Please enjoy it.


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.